The primary purpose of this essay is to discuss sociology. Some definitions will be discussed as well as sociological concepts and perspectives. A sociological perspective will also be applied to the area of Health and Social Care provisions.
According to Marsh and Keating (2006) “Sociological is regarded as an essential part of training courses for teachers, social workers and people who work within the National Health Service (NHS) and criminal justice” (p.6). Giddens (2009) states, “Sociology is the scientific study of human life, social groups, whole societies and the human world as such” (p.7). Abercombie (2005) suggests that sociology is a way in which different human organizations within the social institutions create informal cultures to operate in society. Also, according to Taylor and Field (2007), the word sociology was derived from the Latin word “socious” which means companion and the Greek word “logos” which also means the study of, so the sociology word directly means the study of companionship, or social relations. From these three sources, sociology can be defined as a way different professionals gain knowledge through the scientific study of human life, in order to operate within various social institutions.
A common theme from the definitions is that sociology is a way of gaining knowledge about human societies and the world. Sociology is also regarded as studies of human life, cultures and behaviors of various humans in the entire universe. Marsh and Keating saw sociology as a professional training course but Giddens specified it as a scientific study. Unlike the other authors, Abercombie talked about the creation of informal cultures that operate within society. Taylor and Field also explained the direct meaning of sociology by clearly stating how it was derived.
According to Fulcher and Scott (2011:18), examples of sociological concepts are; social institutions, culture, family, socialization, social structure, society, values and norms.
Newman and O’brien (2008) suggests that through socialization, individuals gain a sense of their identity by learning their cultural values in order to interact appropriately with others in society. He also suggests that the learning process occurs in social institutions such as schools, religious institutions and family. According to Taylor (1999), sociologists are concerned with working on the concept of social divisions such as gender, class and race because they lead to social inequalities.
Human behavior is complicated and it is a complex task to study. This has led to different sociological perspectives by various sociologists.
Symbolic Interactionism which according to Giddens and Sutton (2013) was derived from a foundation laid by George Herbert Mead in year 1863-1961 for an approach to sociology with the meaning that interactions between people in the process of communication relies on the use of symbols. According to this perspective, gestures are a form of communication during interactions. Physical gestures are significant symbols in any process of communication. Symbolic language emerges from gestures that show ones intention to act. A good example of the use of symbols while communicating is the facial expression. An individual’s facial expression speaks a lot about his or a status even when it’s not spoken. This supports the perspective that interactions among individuals in a society doesn’t only depend on the use of languages but also the use of symbols.
Marsh and Keating (2006) states, “Emile Durkheim is generally regarded as the principal figure in the establishment of the sociological perspective of functionalism” p.45. This perspective founded by Durkheim shows how various parts of the society contribute towards societal progress.